Date and time
As part of this conference, the RSA will deliver a sponsored plenary session which will be a Territory, Politics, Governance Annual Lecture presented by Professor Camillo Boano:
Camillo Boano is Professor of Urban Design and Critical Theory at The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU). He is Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory co-Director of the Building and Urban Design in Development MSc at the DPU. Camillo’s research has centred on the complex encounters between critical theory, radical philosophy and urban design processes, specifically engaging with informal urbanisations, urban collective actions, as well as crisis-generated urbanisms. He is working on a series of interconnected research projects in Latin America, South East Asia and the Middle East on urban infrastructures, habitability and city-wide upgrade. Prior to joining UCL, Camillo worked in development and architectural practice for a number of years, became a research fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford, joined the World Habitat Research Unit in Switzerland, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology where he worked on a number of research and consultancy projects concerned with environmental forced migration, humanitarian urbanism, temporary shelters and post-disaster housing reconstruction. He is author The Ethics of a Potential Urbanism: Critical Encounters Between Giorgio Agamben and Architecture (2017), and two edited books Urban Geopolitics. Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities (2018) with Jonathan Rokem and Neoliberalism and Urban Development in Latin America: The Case of Santiago (2018) with Francisco Vergara-Perucich.
Abstract: The ‘Gigantomachy’ and plasticity of urban capitalism: Leviathan-like territories and the potentiality of the urban project
As in the mythological battle between giants and citizens – Gigantomachy – the monstrosity of the present global capitalism in its multiple and ever evolving forms of extractivities, financialization and destruction demand a careful analysis around its biopolitical spatio-temporal stratifications of the mechanisms that allowed the current economic powers to capture life itself, the paper offers a critical view on an affirmative biopolitics to analyze and resist the Leviathan-like territories of the present and reflect on an affirmative urban project. Urbanism is at the centre of this battle due to its plastic capacity to encompass changes, mutations and transformations adapting to the double force of exploration and invention, dispossession and creation. Approaching extractivisms as peculiar form of territorial capitalism (Mezzadra and Lazzarato), financialization as an intertwined, mutually reinforcing set of tendencies and transformations within the realms of economics, politics, society and culture (Aalbers, Rolnik, Rossi, Madden and Marcuse), the biopolitical paradigm of governanmentality developed by Foucault, the paper offers theorizations of an affirmative biopolitics. Intended as action-guiding concerned with the right to, and design of, humane forms of life and inhabitation, drawing from a multiplicity of sources including the post Posthumanism of Braidotti, Malabou, Haraway and the Italian Thoughts of Esposito, Virno and Agamben and some of the urban project archival material of Quadermi Rossi, Casabella and Contropianno in the seventies, the paper suggests bringing about a new way of living that is not captured, oppressed or constituted biopolitically. In an attempt to offer a fertile encounter between philosophy, critical theory and urbanism the paper suggests the ontological implication of thinking the city where the notion of production and value refer to a relational ontology and where critical theory or political philosophy can become a interpretative tools to support and sustain struggles, resistances and emancipatory practices internal to the capital territorial formations.